Bridal

The Best Gift to Give Yourself | Bridal Boudoir Session | New York City Photographer

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There’s one phrase you will hear me say all the time, in life, on social media and in this blog: do it for you. While a boudoir shoot makes a great gift for a loved one, it ultimately is really the best gift you can give yourself. Still, I think it’s tough for many women to come to terms with that idea, and feel they need a reason to have a boudoir shoot. Personally, I think just being a woman and loving yourself is reason enough for a shoot, but I am biased ;) It’s hard for us to justify spending money on ourselves. It’s hard to play hooky from life for a few hours and indulge in some self-care. We’re busy after all, and if you’re like me, you are always putting the needs of your loved ones in front of your own.

So it makes sense that most women look for a reason to come to be for their boudoir session. If you do want a reason for a boudoir shoot, there are several popular ones: a milestone birthday, a physical goal that’s been met, a new pregnancy, and of course, a unique and special grooms gift to gift your finance before you get married.

Ms. J came to me for this reason… at first. She was getting married in a few months and was looking for a special gift for her future groom. She has a sparkling personality and was so game to have fun and try new things. We had an incredible suite in Willimasburg that overlooked the New York City Skyline and just had the most fun afternoon taking advantage of it (hello that TUB!) We even incorporated one her fiancee’s shirts into our shoot which had been a private joke between them over the years. It was all very personal, and made for a modern twist on your traditional bridal boudoir (no veil required!)

He of course, loved the album. But the best part of meeting Ms. J was watching her come out of her shell as she discovered (as most everyone does over the course of their photoshoot) that it’s really all about YOU. Gift giving truly is, the icing on the cake.

In her own words, Ms. J said:

I went into this experience thinking this was a gift for my future husband and it ended up being the best gift I could have given myself. This was so much more than a photography session, but a way of making any woman feel so much sexier in her own skin. I was worried and self conscious about being so exposed, but Stephanie made me feel so comfortable and so empowered and it showed through the photos. Stephanie is extraordinary at what she does and has a true talent for capturing the natural beauty of a woman. I would do this 100 times over to feel as good as I did walking out of our shoot and can't wait to do it again! Thank you for giving me what I deem one of the best experiences of my 20s!

It just makes my heart sing when I hear a woman say these things. Because my relationship, ultimately, is with the woman in front of my lens. Of course, I want her future husband/wife/partner to enjoy the photos, but what I really want is for the woman I’m photographing to LOVE her images and feel absolutely amazing about them. I want her to feel like she can take on the world after her shoot, feel powerful & sexy gifting her images, and look back on her album or wall art every time she needs to be reminded how badass and beautiful she is. There is no gift better than that.

So yes, gift your boudoir images… just don’t forget YOURSELF when you are writing out your gift-list. Because loving yourself is the best gift you give yourself.

xoxo, Stephanie

Want to gift yourself something fabulous? Contact me and let’s chat!

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A Busy New York Woman's First Anniversary Gift | Client Testimonial | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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I often get asked if the women on the Brooklyn Boudoir instagram and blog are “real” women. Um, we are ALL “real” women, aren’t we?? But I know what they mean: the women LOOK like models, but in fact are lawyers, entrapeneaurs, business women, other photographers, moms, and in the case of Ms. D., surgeons.

Ms. D. was about to celebrate her one-year wedding anniversary and was looking for the perfect gift. The traditional gift for a 1-year anniversary is paper, so a boudoir album is an amazing and personal option. But, given her crazy on-call schedule, it was really difficult for us to find a time that worked for both of us AND would turn around her album in time for her anniversary.

So, as we women do, we made it work and Ms. D. came to me after she was on call overnight. That’s right - she had spent the night at the hospital, performing heart surgery of all things (!!) and came to me in her scrubs on about 2 hours of sleep directly afterwards. Not ideal when you want to feel sexy. Or… is it?

Before you even see a single photo, it's the EXPERIENCE that you need and deserve as a woman. The more women I meet, the more I believe that however we spend our days, we are ALL professional jugglers. Whether you are a stay-at-home-mom, a work-from home-mom, a work-out-of-the-home-mom, or a busy working woman, we are women and New Yorkers, so I can guarantee that you are juggling TONS.

It's also a safe bet that often times, of all the things you juggle, taking care to make sure that YOU are taken care of isn't one of those priorities. There just simply isn't that much time, I get it. 

As many articles as we read about making ourselves a priority so that the loved ones in our lives reap the benefits, it's downright HARD to find an hour a day to work out, it's hard to schedule a monthly girl's night with a bunch of busy women, it's hard to take 10 minutes out of your morning to stretch, it's hard to not feel guilty booking a 3 hour boudoir photo shoot experience when you know you've got others to take care of. 

But I can promise you, it's worth it. ALL OF THOSE THINGS: worth it.  Do I struggle with doing them, too? HELL.YES. But when I do, my family notices. *I* notice. I'm more productive. I'm happier. I've got a pep in my step. 

So, as we women do, Ms. D. came to me super tired and yet MADE IT WORK. She had an amazing attitude and we captured some incredible images together. Needeless to say, she needed this experience, and LOVED her images. Needless to say, her new husband did too, and I was just happy I could treat Ms. D. to some “Me time” and be a small part of their anniversary celebration.

Ms. D. Said:

Stephanie was phenomenal! She made me feel so comfortable and confident! This is the best investment you can make for yourself! Do not think about it..... just do it! I would recommend her to everyone!!!!! I can’t thank you enough for such and amazing experience.

THANK YOU, Ms. D., for bringing your A-game to our shoot — until the next time!!

xoxo, Stephanie

Have a first anniversary coming up but not sure you have time for a photoshoot? Contact me and let’s make it work!

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When to gift your bridal boudoir photos to you fiancé | New York City Bridal Trends

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Bridal Boudoir has been a growing trend over the past few years.  Nearly all my brides ask the same question: WHEN should I give these photos to my groom?  This isn't always easy for me to answer since it's such a personal decision - there is no right or wrong time!  But here are four perfect times to give your fiancé your bridal boudoir photos!

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  1. The night before!
    Often times the day of the wedding is filled with family, photographers, nerves… it can be a lot. The night before on the other hand offers a way to keep things extra private and to make your groom that much more excited for the big day! Also a good option so you don't have to pack it in your Mary Poppin's style wedding bag.

  2. The morning of!
    Hand it off to your MOH to deliver, but don't forget that there may be more eyes on it than you'd like. You can get around this by sending it over early before the festivities of the day begin. On the other hand, it can be SUPER fun to have your wedding photographer snap a few photos of him opening his gift - you can guarantee his reaction will be priceless! As soon as he realizes what it is, he’s sure to keep it discreet, but juuuuust in case this option is best if you’re not shy. On the other hand, you'll be hot AF and off the market so if anyone accidentally sees, who cares… but that’s just my take on it ;) If you don't want to gift them all the morning of, you could include a single 5x7 print in a card to let them know there's more to come at the end of the night. A fun surprise and something they'll look forward to all day!

  3. The wedding night!
    Give them on the wedding night. You could even drop a hint mid-wedding day to keep them guessing. This way, you know your photos are safe and sound and for their eyes only, and you can have fun looking through the album together. The downside of this option is that you’ll both likely be so tired (and probably a little tipsy) that night that it’s easy to loose steam.

  4. The honeymoon!
    If you're really patient, you could gift them during the honey moon. A perfect time for such a gift, since you’ll be relaxed and in a romantic zone. I'd personally be super antsy to share to wait that long… The other downside of course is packing it for your trip and risking it getting damaged or lost.

  5. Your one year anniversary!

    Don’t forget that it normally takes 6-8 weeks to turn an album around. Didn’t plan ahead? No worries — the traditional one year anniversary gift is paper, so an album makes the perfect first anniversary gift. You can even bring back your veil or a special piece of wedding night lingerie for nostalgia’s sake, and to get more use out of your wedding day wardrobe!

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Whenever you decide to gift your boudoir album, you can’t go wrong, just be sure to plan ahead to keep the wedding day as stress free as possible!

xoxo, Stephanie

Getting married later this summer or fall? Now’s the time to get booked!

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The Ease of a Brooklyn Boudoir Experience | Ms. J's Bridal Boudoir Session | NYC Photographer

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Ahhhh the boudoir experience… a source of mad anxiety from the time of considering the session to showing up to the studio. It doesn't matter how much I preach about how EASY it's about to be for a woman, the idea of stripping down in front of a stranger's camera is stressful...and...well...terrifying. 

Ms. J came to me all the way from Australia! She was having whirlwind week in NYC in which she arrived, had an engagement photo shoot, had a boudoir shoot AND got married underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Whew! Her lovely fiancé set up the shoot as a gift to her — best husband to be ever (though admittedly there was *something in it for him as well).

Like so many women who come to me, Ms. J was so nervous at first. Not to mention the overwhelming week she had ahead of her… so my main goal, as always, was to make her feel entirely 100% comfortable and for this to be the easiest thing about her week in NYC.

Good thing making women feel comfortable in front of the camera happens to be my superpower. You can read it in my rave reviews, in other past blog posts and from other client testimonials, but let emphasize the ease of this experience for any of you who may be nervous about this here.

So, what's it like?? What *exactly* goes on during a session? 

First and foremost, by the time you walk through the doors, you've already received so much information from me that there really isn't anything left to wonder about. You know how long we'll be together, how many outfits we'll be photographing you in, how long hair and makeup takes, and that I'll be giving you guidance along the way. 

We go through your outfits together and I'll offer you a beverage while you're slipping into your robe. My makeup artist chats with you about how much fun you're about to have, and calms your nerves. 

When it's shoot time, I give you another run down of the process, how it's actually fun and silly and not at all a "sensual" experience. We'll be chatting along the way. I'll encourage you the whole time. I'll be mindful of your "insecurities" and play up your favorite features. I'll direct EVERY SINGLE POSE. Every limb. Your hair. Your face. All of it. All you need to do is copy me. 

Time will FLY. It ALWAYS done. If I don't make a very conscious effort to check on the time, I would shoot all day. It's fun for me, it's fun for you, and it's over before you know it. You'll already want to do it again (and probably will...they always do ;) )

About 10 minutes into the session, Ms. J, like most of my other clients, was able to relax and find her flow. We had captured some beautiful portraits of her, with NYC as the backdrop.

Ms. J agrees:

I was really nervous about the photo shoot but you made the day really relaxed, assisting with the posing made me feel much more confident!! I never thought I would do a boudoir shoot but it was totally different to what I expected and I love the finished images you created. I didn’t think I would ever be tempted to do another but after working with you I’m tempted (when we return to NYC one day ;))

2 weeks later I was able to meet her again, this time as a married woman, with her husband along for the reveal. They sat together through her photo reveal slideshow in stunned silence...when it was over, she breathed a deep breath of relief, and did a little clap.  The photos, of course, turned out incredible, and became such an amazing memory of her time in NYC.

ALL of my clients are nervous, some more than others...but they all have that self-doubt that all of my clients are models and naturally good in front of the camera and that they will be the very first person that I cannot photograph.  Yes, the women on my website look modelesque...but they are women just like you: nurses, accountants, lawyers… Very few of them are actually comfortable in front of a camera, and not many of them would describe themselves as photogenic and sexy. Yet every single one of them looks that way. 

Ladies, I’ve got you. You will laugh at how nervous you were and will most definitely want to do it again...knowing that if your photos turned out THIS good when you were terrified....they will be even better the second round when you know what to expect. 

Trust me. 

xoxo, Stephanie

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Ready to bite the bullet? Let's chat!

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What If...? | Artistic Bridal Boudoir | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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I have been waiting a few months to share these amazing images with you! Ms. H is a POWER.HOUSE. She is an actress, dancer and currently works in the fitness industry, so needless to say she is very body aware and knows how to move. It isn’t even fair for me to take full credit for these photos because she brought SO MUCH to the table — she SERVED it with the looks, was willing to take some risks and most of all trusted me to do my thing. The results were nothing short of magical.

This is a woman you can’t help but want to be around. She’s real. She’ll tell it like it is. She’s sexy without trying. She has freckles and she loves them. She’s charismatic and she’ll kick your ass in a workout (I speak from experience here, holy hell we worked out together and for a week afterwards every step I took was pain). She’s got a passion for life, for love, she’s got a tough “New York woman” energy with a soft side… which is how I like to think of myself.

Ms. H just got married this past month. The STYLE of this couple. NYC meets Nashville: edgy yet somehow still traditional, stars everywhere, the most gorgeous flowers, and a couple who are so clearly into each other you can’t help but want to fall in love. I’m SURE their wedding will end up in the pages of a glossy magazine — and I am so pleased I got to be a small part of their incredible day. We captured a few more traditionally bridal looks with a veil, and then went more artistic & raw with some portraits on black, a shower set and some of my favorite “in the sheets” shots ever. I love how much variety we captured and how we illustrated the different sides of her personality.

Said Ms. H about her Brooklyn Boudoir Experience:

I am so blown away. I've had my picture taken a good bit, so while I've never done a boudoir shoot, I'm comfortable in front of a camera and had a pretty good idea of what results I could expect. I have NEVER seen myself like this on film. Sometimes, I'll get dressed up to go somewhere and look in the mirror and be like "damn girl you look good!" but then I see a picture of the same night and it makes my heart sink. Do I have an elevated opinion of myself? Is my mirror broken? Which one is really me? Which version are other people seeing? Working with you made me realize that it comes down to the person behind the camera caring as much about me as I do, or probably even more. Working in the fitness industry I take a lot of care to make it less about physical results and more about empowering women. But, at the end of the day, it's a physical result driven business. It's always about progress and the next step. What can we improve, what can get even better? This was the first time I've been able to stop and, in your words "be where I am now". 

These are easily my favorite pictures of myself I've ever seen and I'm so happy I have these images to capture and celebrate this phase of my life. I felt so cared for and celebrated.

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These words meant to much to me, because (and this is somethingI hope this comes through in my blogs, my newsletter, and my instagram — and is worth repeating here): I care about you. We may be strangers at first, but we will get to know each other, we will likely become fast friends, I will want to know your story, your “why,” hear all about the crazy things happening in your world, and will be following along your wedding photos just like I did with Ms. H here. I care! Everyone comes to a boudoir session for a different reason. Sometimes you just want pretty images of yourself, often times it’s something deeper than that. Whatever your reason, I want to honor it, and celebrate YOU and through the process, my clients and I often make real connections with each other!

Her advise for other women who are thinking of having a shoot of their own? “Do it and go for it. Push yourself as far as you can. If you don't like the result, nobody ever has to see those shots! But if you don't do it, you'll always wonder "what if."

^^^^^^ THIS! Personally, one of my biggest fears is looking back on life and wondering “what if…” Back in my dating days, I used to go out with pretty much everybody who asked (insert joke here). I always felt like there was nothing to lose - if I didn’t like the guy, at worst it would be a funny story to tell my friends (and let me tell you there are some REALLY funny stories). Saying YES can lead to some great adventures - and also some bad ones, sure. However, I really do believe that people rarely regret the things they go for, the things they say YES to. So much more common seems to be regret over saying no. Did I go on some really bad dates by saying yes? Ummm, you have no idea (i.e.: strong YES!) But was it really so bad?? Nah…and I have to believe if I hadn’t gone out with Barbara Streisand’s nephew (true story) I would have wondered “what if” I had.

Anyhow, I digress, as I sit here thinking of all the bad dates of my past, lol. My point is, there are a lot of excuses you can think of NOT to have a boudoir shoot. But who wants to look back and think, “if only I had done it before I had kids” or “i wish I had been able to appreciate myself earlier in life.” I wish I had learned to appreciate myself and my body earlier in life, but it’s never too late to start saying YES. It’snever too late to start appreciating yourself and loving yourself. You don’t have to be perfect - you just have to be YOU. (And by the way, you ARE perfect, and I am happy to be the one to remind you of that).

OK, this blog post is much more rambling and tangental that I intended it to be, what can I say, Ms. H and her wedding brought out a lot of feelings in me.

Love you guys - my readers, my clients, my women, my muses, my friends.

xoxo, Stephanie

Wondering “what if” YOU had a boudoir shoot? Shoot me an email and let’s chat!!

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A Sexy Bride and Kindred Spirit | New York Bridal Boudoir Photographer

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I was recently in Boulder, CO for a boudoir photographer’s conference (yes, that exists!). In talking about their client base, one of the other photographers there said something that resonated with me: “I am my client and my client is me.” I, of course, welcome all women and believe that a boudoir shoot is for everyone. I also believe that the way to have your best boudoir experience is to find a photographer that you really connect with.

Truthfully, I didn’t predict that Ms M and I would have gotten on so well. This woman is PUT.TOGETHER. I feel *mostly* put together most days but next to Ms. M I (frankly) felt like a mess — she is a #BOSS who wears heels to work and is definitely not shy expressing her sensual side (RESPECT). She has smooth, tan skin, perfectly manicured nails and eyebrows, and is juggling A LOT (as we New York women do) with style. She lives in a big, beautiful home in Long Island, which is where we had our shoot. She was planning the wedding of her dreams and I was, quite frankly, a bit intimidated of her.

But (and here’s where I have to pat myself on the back) Ms. M IS my woman and she and I got on amazingly! We love the same designers, including the one who designed her wedding dress (swoon!). We spent the entire shoot gabbing, laughing, and just having the best time. I know I must be doing something right when I can attract like-minded women like her. Our shoot was a wedding gift for her long-time beau and finance and I am so looking forward to the chance of photographing her again (said fiancé has already put in his request) ;)

I love how we captured Ms. M’s softer side with white lingerie and a veil as well as her saucy side with thigh high boots, a fishnet bodysuit and leather crop top. It’s aaaalllllll about variety and Ms. M wore all her looks so.damn.well.

A few words from Ms. M:

Stephanie was just simply amazing! I felt so comfortable and never felt so comfortable in my own skin! From the minute she walked in with her bubbly energy I felt I knew her for years. I’m so happy and pleased I found her and chose her. My pictures are so amazing because of our instant connection. Get a photographer that brings good energy from the minute she walks in, be you and let yourself go !! The results will boost your self esteem and your significant other will truly appreciate your beauty so much more - you will too.

When you have a Brooklyn Boudoir Experience, you and I will get to see each other at least 3 times — at your shoot, at your photo reveal and when you get your products. We also spend time emailing and talking before the shoot so that before we even meet, we have a relationship. It’s so important to me to get to know my clients, because a personal relationship and a good rapport is the best way for me to capture authentic portraits and the best way to ensure your photos embody your style & the vibe you are going for. I want my clients to be happy first and foremost so I want to get to know you! For me, it’s not a “one size fits all” experience, because a boudoir shoot is a personal thing.

I never know who you are going to meet in this business and I love that. Would Ms. M and I have met otherwise? Probably not. But I am so so happy we did and smile every time I think of her, her STUNNING wedding, her puppy and the fact that both she and her new husband were so happy with their images.

THANK YOU, Ms. M for making me a part of your dream wedding and for a relationship I know will last a long time - I can’t wait to photograph you again!

xoxo, Stephanie

Ready to connect? I would love to hear from you!

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NonTraditional Bridal Boudoir | Client Spotlight | Brooklyn Boudoir Photographer

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Bridal Boudoir has been a growing trend over the past few years. I LOVE photographing a soon-to-be bride (and love it even more when she decides to keep her images for herself as opposed to her groom… it happens often!) While I love photographing a beautiful, gauzy veil, you need not dress all in white for your bridal boudoir session!

Ms A, here, was such a lovely client to work with. She intended to gift her finance with her boudoir album but didn’t feel the need to overdo the “bridal” theme. She rocked a black jumpsuit, which is personally one of my favorite looks, and her insanely gorgeous wedding shoes — I mean, check those babies out! FIERCE. And fierce is exactly how her images came out. Like most women, she was nervous, but trusting, and she rocked her photoshoot. I was super excited to share the finished product with her and hear about how her groom loved his gift.

I loved the experience!! I felt comfortable and Stephanie checked on me often. The photos look insanely amazing and even though some poses felt weird, they look phenomenal. — Ms. A

Thank you, Ms A for trusting me with the process, for your kind words during and afterwards.


Ready for YOUR non-traditional bridal boudoir shoot? It’s never too early to start planning! Send me a note and let’s get you on the calendar!

xoxo, Stephanie

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Radiant Bridal Boudoir | New York City Boudoir Photographer

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There are several factors that contribute to the tone that a woman's photo shoot: the location, the light,  and most importantly a woman's energy when she walks in to our shoot. In our planning together, I pay close attention to a woman's personality, to their style, and the purpose for their session. THEN, I let my creative juices flow in that direction for the duration of the day. 

When I met Miss "B" at her apartment in New Haven, she timidly showed me her outfits, but had a sparkle in her eye, and when she started talking about her finance and upcoming wedding she completely lit up.  Within just a few minutes of our shoot we were giggling like old friends. We had planned for a light, airy, bridal look as well as a saucier look, so I knew this would be a great photoshoot experience. 

Check out her gorgeous photos & her own words on our day together: 

Says Ms. B:

I truly can’t say enough positive feedback to describe how amazing the entire experience was. I have recommended a boudoir photoshoot, and most importantly Stephanie in particular, to all my close friends. Her attention to detail, and care taken each step of the way is unbeatable! I greatly appreciated how quickly she responded to emails and took the time to answer all my questions. Stephanie is so warm and friendly! I instantly felt so comfortable around her! I loved how she physically showed me poses and coached me through as I attempted to copy them. That built up my confidence and I knew that you would deliver only the most beautiful and complimentary photos! And that proved right!! I LOVED my photos!

My advise would be to get your makeup done and splurge on the beautiful outfit, it's worth it.   Then trust that you will look gorgeous in the photos!  Also, do some yoga beforehand! Hahaha I definitely have a new respect for holding poses while trying to look relaxed!

Thank you SO MUCH Miss "B"...and CONGRATULATIONS on your new marriage (which just happened last weekend!!!) I was DYING holding on to these photos until then! ;) 

xoxo, Stephanie

READY FOR YOUR BOUDOIR EXPERIENCE? LET'S CHAT!

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Romantic Bridal Boudoir | Brooklyn Boudoir Photography

Romantic Bridal Boudoir | Brooklyn Boudoir Photography

Ms. G stepped out of her comfort zone to surprise her fiancé with a special gift for their October wedding.

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Gift Giving is a Bonus | New York City Bridal Boudoir

 Gift Giving is a Bonus | New York City Bridal Boudoir

This bride's gift to her soon-to-be groom is H O T ... 

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